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VN news ticker: Brodie Chapman, Luke Plapp score Australian national titles

Here's the news making headlines on Sunday, January 8.

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Brodie Chapman, Luke Plapp score Australian national titles

Luke Plapp and Brodie Chapman will wear the green and gold of Australian road race champion this season.

Ineos Grenadiers powerhouse Plapp defended his title and topped the podium over Simon Clarke (Israel Premier Tech) and Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla) after delivering a stinging attack in the final kilometers.

Chapman will wear her new champion’s jersey in her first season with Trek-Segafredo in 2023.

The 31-year-old kicked out of the lead group at the turn of the final lap to score a 31-second victory. Grace Brown (FDJ Suez) and Amanda Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) went two-three in the sprint for the remaining medals.

“Putting on a new [Trek-Segafredo] kit and having a new team gives you that extra little bit of motivation,” Chapman said at the finish.

“Also having been away from the Australian summer of cycling for the last few seasons, I want to make it count when I come back to visit.”

Plapp animated an all-attacking final round of the Buninyong circuit, delivering his final move out of a select lead group.

“I didn’t know how to play it today,” he said. “I really just tried to bide my time and I don’t know what happened on that last lap … I can’t believe I pulled it off.”

All eyes had been on Jayco-AlUla to dominate the race after the Aussie WorldTour team sent a stack of riders to compete on home soil. The team’s captain Matthews repeatedly attacked in the final kilometers only to be shut down by his watching rivals.

“I was almost lucky that Bling [Matthews] was there because they all looked at him and that gave me the chance,” Plapp said.